Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella Review: A Positive Journey of Anxiety

June 12, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella Review: A Positive Journey of AnxietyFinding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Published by Doubleday on June 4, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Audrey can't leave the house. she can't even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother's friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again - well, Starbucks is a start.And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she'd thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .

Having experienced mental illness in my family, I adore books that explore it in a relatable and meaningful way. Finding Audrey is about a girl who can’t leave the house, can’t make eye contact with her family and wears sunglasses 24/7. The smallest social situations will send her into a state of panic, and she needs to live in the confines of her own room.

Audrey has depression, General Anxiety Disorder and Severe Social Anxiety, but she doesn’t let that define her. She’s sharp, witty, completely hilarious and relatable as a character. Audrey will regress into her own mind every now and then, but through increasing interactions with her family and other people, she’ll slowly learn to heal.

I am owed so much laughter. Sometimes I hope I’m building up a stockpile of missing laughs, and when I’ve recovered, they’ll all come exploding out in one gigantic fit that lasts twenty-four hours.

Finding Audrey, explores her emotional journey in a positive and realistic manner, where she can finally understand her limits and starts to recover. With witty interview transcripts of her quirky family, talks with her therapist, witnessing her mother’s obsession over her brother’s computer gaming addiction and the sweetest boy Linus, things will slowly look up for Audrey as she literally and figuratively opens her eyes. She’ll start to see that her family needs her as much as she needs them, even though she’s the one with the disorder.

I adored the family interaction in this novel, where Audrey’s mother constantly and obsessively picks on her brother Frank, who she believes has an unhealthy obsession to computer gaming. How many of us have brothers, friends, partners or family members who can relate to this? Frank’s hilarious quips and passive aggressive behaviour in response to her mother’s increasingly crazy behaviour was a fun dynamic to watch, and helps Audrey to understand the bigger picture as to what’s happening to both of them.

I feel a blinding shaft of terror, which I tell myself to ignore, as my brain will often try to send me messages that are untrue and I do not have to listen to them. This is lesson one at St John’s: Your brain is an idiot. 

Although I can’t relate to Audrey’s mental illness, I’ve had similar thoughts before where something bad happens and you fill your mind with negative and obsessive thoughts. It’s too easy to beat yourself up over things, but what Finding Audrey reinforces is that moving on is a journey, not a destination. Sometimes you’ll have good days, sometimes you’ll have bad days, but overall you’re making progress towards a long term goal which is what we sometimes forget.

There’s a sweet romance in Finding Audrey, one which was completely cute and endearing and helps Audrey to really see herself from others’ perspectives. She’s not a broken girl who people are scared about, although there was certainly that stereotype. She’s just a girl coping with a traumatic incident, with the love and support that she needs. Linus was a sweet and non-judgemental guy who really helped Audrey to heal. Although the romance was definitely cute, I only wish the driving force behind Audrey’s healing wasn’t the romance though, because I believe that people can be strong with the support that they already have.

“No one said getting better would be a straightforward journey…You’ll go up and you’ll go down. But your progress will be in the right direction. It is in the right direction.” 

The book constantly teases what happens to Audrey, but you’ll never find out. I wish we knew what caused Audrey’s mental illness, other than the effects of bullying. But the book does reinforce that you should focus on the present, not the past, which will help you to heal. If only it didn’t leave things hanging though!

epiloguepink

Finding Audrey is a witty, hilarious and realistic look on a girl with severe anxiety disorder and depression, who will eventually find her way. I enjoyed the quirky family interactions and the cute romance, but most of all, I loved how it focused on the positive. I’ve never read a Sophie Kinsella book, but I really enjoyed her fun and fresh writing here.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (So much fun!) 

Thanks Penguin Random House for sending me this book for review! 

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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63 responses to “Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella Review: A Positive Journey of Anxiety

  1. Jeann I'm still in the middle of reading Finding Audrey as I keep reading other books before it for reviews but I'm really enjoying it. Sophie Kinsella was one of my fave Authors, the obsession starting with the Shopaholic series but her other standalone books are just fantastic! I love her wit, and this certainly shows in Finding Audrey 😀

    Great Review!

    PS:- Are you in Sydney? We should get all book bloggers from Sydney to meet up.
    My recent post Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry D Ficklin Book Blast

  2. Jacinta

    I'm always hesitant to read books involving mental illness, but this sounds like such a good read! The blurb alone wouldn't have encouraged me, but reading your review, I might give it a shot. Your writing is good and I really like the quotes you included!

  3. I really want to read this! This has been in my TBR for a long while now. I love reading books about mental illness, simply because it helps me understand more about this particular aspect that most people suffer from. Audrey sounds like an interesting character! Even if she suffers a lot of anxiety disorders, I'm quite curious as to how she is able to recover from them. SO excited to read Finding Audrey!! Lovely review Jeann 😀
    My recent post ARC: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

  4. DreWolf

    There has been several dramas that I've watched lately that had 'agoraphobia' in it – a fear of wide, open spaces. Wherein the main character is so afraid to go out, and would wear a wide hat to cover her face if she needs to go out, hoping to avoid any interaction with people. I don't think I can say that I have experienced this, but somewhat similar as to when there was a time that I didn't want to talk to anyone at all, that I disconnected. I think it's important that mental health issues are talked about in YA, because I am betting that a lot of teens are going through this kind of disorder and it might help them overcome it, or would allow them to find necessary help. Great review, Jeann!
    My recent post Review 236 : End of Days by Susan Ee

  5. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I laughed my ass off at the mother and her Daily Mail parenting verses sassy Frank the gamer. When she was peering in the windows, I almost peed myself laughing. It reminded me of me and the hubster and his gaming addiction. But I loved the positivity of Audrey's life, it was a breath of fresh air to see mental illness as not all doom and gloom. I agree about the romance though, but was still able to love it regardless. Wonderful review Jeann, so glad you enjoyed it too <3
    My recent post The List Book… The One With The Really Long Title

    • It was really hilarious wasn't it Kelly? HAHAH yes I definitely got flashbacks to me and my brother or with the bf lol. I can imagine you doing that Kelly XD It was really positive and refreshing that way. Thanks hun!

  6. Aw this sounds really good! I definitely can relate to the anxiety, and I love that it is so positive! I also like that there's family involvement, and that you see stuff with her therapist- it's so good when books have that, I feel like it decreases the taboo every time! Great review 🙂
    My recent post June New Release Giveaway Hop!

    • I really enjoyed it Shannon, the family involvement is something that seems to have more happening in YA. I do like books that spread awareness of mental illness 🙂 Thanks hun!

  7. I think I'd really enjoy Finding Audrey, Jeann! That moving on is a journey and not a destination sounds fantastic! And I love it when a character can help me see something that I haven't experienced myself, but knowing this character somehow brings me a better understanding about what he or she is going through.
    Great review, Jeann!
    My recent post Stacking the Shelves #87 BB&B #37

    • I think you will Lexxie, it was a really fantastic read, and I love reading books that open up our mind to new concepts. Thanks love!

    • I think I might enjoy her Shopaholic series Braine, it sounds like it's fun and hilarious! Thank you, I think you'll like this one, even though it's YA.

  8. danielleisbusyreading

    Great review, Jeann! I've heard nothing but praise for this book – it sounds really sweet and uplifting. The reason I've shied away is Audrey's age – I know, that seems picky, but I usually don't like to read about characters younger than 16. :/
    Anyway, glad you enjoyed this so much!

  9. Zoe

    This sounds like such an amazing book Jeann. There are so many books about mental illness being released lately, but not many on anxiety, so it's great to see one that is not only unique but hilarious and well-written as well. Definitely going to give this a try – thanks for sharing and fabulous review! <33

  10. I actually have a copy of this one as well that I should really get around to reading. I feel like this one is going to be good, especially as I have never read a Kinsella book before although I really wanted to! I love the sound of it being so realistic and yet about a meaningful topic.
    My recent post Book Haul #5 Part 1 ~ I Think I Won the World

    • It's a super quick read Olivia, so I hope that inspires you further! I haven't read a Kinsella either and I really enjoyed her writing.

  11. I am quite interested in reading this book too.. because of the mental illness. I see people constantly saying that they have anxiety.. me too. I have this one on hold at the library. I wish too that they would say what happens to her. Here in America you can sometimes get disability pay from the government but it is very very hard to get.
    My recent post Comic Adventures Issue # 23

    • I know, it's frustrating that we don't get answers, but I guess that's not wholly what the book is about. Very fascinating Angie! It can definitely be debilitating.

  12. lab1990

    Thanks for sharing. I do really like books that deal with mental illness since it's something that plagues a lot of people. I used to have bad social anxiety (not quite like Audrey, but i'm sure I could relate) so it's interesting to see that explored in a novel.

    -Lauren
    My recent post Locke and Key Graphic Novel Series by Joe Hill

  13. This is your first Sophie Kinsella?! WOW! I'm glad you enjoyed this Jeann! 🙂 I've read a few Sophie Kinsella and enjoyed most of them but I've not read anything from her lately. I'm glad this one is realistic yet was able to make it witty and hilarious. I've experienced mental illness in my family too so I love the idea of a book that focused on the positive and not just the negative. I think it's about time I read Sophie Kinsella again, and I'll definitely start with this one 🙂
    My recent post Bookish Traveler #10: Nature Tripping in Bergen, Norway

    • I know, I've seen her books around but haven't picked them up before! I love her writing, it was so much fun. Glad to hear you're keen on this book Amir! Pick it up!

  14. This one sounds really fun 🙂 I actually ordered it because Kelly really enjoyed this one too! I love the anxiety issue mentioned in the book, the romance would be really different & you enjoyed it as well! Here's to hoping it's as awesome as your review. Thank you for sharing Jeann <3
    My recent post Wow..♥ Broken Skies by Theresa Kay Review

  15. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    Some of those quotes really hit me on a personal level. I can't say I have severe social anxiety like Audrey does, but I do know how difficult it is to go outside sometimes. Or having a rough time and feeling so alone. I'm glad it can still stay funny, and charming throughout! Great review, Jeann! 🙂

  16. fictionalskylines

    Nice review, I'm interested to see how the family dynamics are written since I have a similar thing going on with my mom and my game-crazed little brother haha.

    I also think I might be able to relate to Audrey because I do have moments of extreme anxiety that sometimes falls into panic attacks but it's definitely not as bad as Audrey's. I wonder, why is it that she wears the sunglasses all the time? Maybe it's to prevent eye contact…
    My recent post Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    • Hahha you could definitely relate to the family aspect of the book then! Yeah, it is to prevent eye contact. Sounds like this book would be relatable for you!

  17. I'm so glad you enjoyed this too, Jeann. This book was just so delightful and I was so invested in Audrey's story. Her mother was so crazy, but hilarious. I loved the video transcripts and the sweet romance too.
    Wonderful review!

  18. "It’s too easy to beat yourself up over things, but what Finding Audrey reinforces is that moving on is a journey, not a destination."

    Love that Jeann! While I can't relate to all that Audrey's facing with her anxiety disorder, I think everyone can relate to beating themselves up at times. I know I'm going to want to find out what happened to Audrey and it will probably give me a nervous tic that we don't find out, but overall this sounds like a winner! Lovely review:)
    My recent post Review + Giveaway: Brokedown Cowboy

  19. So okay I just recently read a stunning review of this book (Kelly's) and it made me buy the book asap. And wow here is another one! Like I said to Kelly, this looks like one of thos books that I will immediately like because of the character alone. Really thank you for this review, Jeann. <3
    My recent post ARC REVIEW: Vanished by E. E. Cooper

    • I haven't read her books before but I really enjoyed them here! I know you love It's Kind of a Funny Story, I'll have to read it someday, it's on my shelves.

  20. Kara Terzis

    A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with GAD (though I know I've had it my whole life; I just didn't know how to name it), and it go so bad to the point where I had to leave mainstream school and be homeschooled because I just couldn't cope — so I'm really, really looking forward to this one. I've never read anything by this author before either, but this looks like a lot of fun! Lovely review <3
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  21. So glad you enjoyed this one, Jeann! I had a completely opposite experience to you and actually ended up DNFing it. >_< AGH I KNOW, RIGHT?! I was really disappointed it didn't click for me, but oh well. Loved reading your review anyway. 😉

      • Yes! I'm putting it in a mini review…coming soon. I THINK. I mean, I was going to. But you know how I was complaining on twitter yesterday about being attacked for a review? This is the one. >_< AGh. So my goodreads review is pretty wild and full of hate comments atm. #awkward

  22. Bec

    I feel like I'm going to be able to relate to Audrey a lot if I read this. My anxiety probably isn't as bad as hers, but I still find it hard to cope with at times. The family aspect sounds great too! There need to be more YAs with good family interactions.
    My recent post Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass